Stoke City manager Michael O’Neil expects John Mikel Obi to play a key role in the club’s quest
for a return to the Premier League, reports Completesports.com.
Mikel linked up with the Potters on a free transfer last month.
The 33-year-old scored in his first pre-season outing against Shrewsbury Town and was also impressive in the games Leeds United and Newcatsle United.
O’Neil, who is happy with the experienced midfielder’s contribution since his arrival at the club, is banking on the Nigerian to play a crucial role for his team.
“I think we’ve got a good experience in the spine of the team. We’ve real quality that Steven Fletcher, John Obi Mikel and James Chester bring as well.” O’Neill said in a pre-match press conference.
“You’re always wary of taking a player from abroad but with John, it wasn’t like that because he’d been in the UK for so long. There were no worries about that scenario.
“What John has demonstrated – and his fitness levels are improving all the time, having not played since March – is that every day in training is a top-quality player who can handle the ball and is able to tactically understand the game and help the players around him tactically.
“He’s been great since he came in.”
Stoke City will travel away to Millwall for their opening fixture of the 2020/21 season on Saturday.
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